The Producer’s Checklist


(By Randy Lane) Radio show producers have gone full circle. They were a luxury position in the ‘80s, a must-have in the early 2000s and back to a luxury position today.

Even if you are in a big market, chances are you and your cohosts are producing the show. If you are fortunate, your producer doubles as the third mic or devotes full time to producing.

How well a show is produced can be the difference between a good and a great show. If you are in management and your personality morning or afternoon show doesn’t have a producer, go light with them on outside tasks like voice tracking other shows, remotes, and, appearances.

The producer’s job description is wide and deep. Whether you have a producer or the responsibilities are absorbed by the on-air hosts, producing a show breaks down into four major parts:

  1. Organizational Skills
  • Keeps the show organized and on schedule
  • Anticipates and acts on host needs before they come up
  • Responsible for finalization of the show’s prep sheet
  • Schedules and plans daily and weekly social media content
  • Keeps updated lists of regular callers, celebrities, experts
  • Books guests
  • Coordinates appearances with promotion/marketing department, and engineering
  • Organizes remotes and appearances, including attire, props, planning a game, etc.
  1. Show Director
  • Makes the talent look good
  • Directs the talent through the game plan during the show (time to wrap up, tease reminders, etc.)
  • Sets up and screens phone calls during the show (many shows have a separate phone screener)
  • Guides social media messaging and strategy to match the show brand
  1. Audio/Production
  • Pulls audio for the show
  • Edits audio, phone calls, and bits
  • Shoots and edits video and photography for social media
  • Produces drop-ins, beds, “best of” shows, lifts comedy service material
  • Produces online audio, photos, and written blog content for the website
  • Produces morning show promos with production director
  • Coordinates live spot copy, recording, airchecks, and aids communication between the client, the sales department, and the talent
  1. Creative
  • Helps write bits, sketches, promos
  • Participates in on-air conversations, bits as self or on-air character role
  • Provides laughter at the appropriate times (when something is funny)
  • Contributes ideas and content for the show
  • Hits the street in station vehicle to do live call-ins, stunts
  • Finds inventive ways to do routine things

If your show is fortunate enough to have a producer, contact me for the in-depth producer job description at [email protected] or Jeff McHugh at [email protected].

Randy Lane launched his media talent coaching and personal brand development company in 1996. He can be contacted by phone at 805.231.5746 or email at [email protected].


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